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Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Approved | | Drama | 3 May 1962 (UK)
Trailer
2:53 | Trailer
Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Tennessee Williams (play), Richard Brooks (written for the screen by)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Chance Wayne
Geraldine Page ... Alexandra Del Lago
Shirley Knight ... Heavenly Finley
Ed Begley ... 'Boss' Finley
Rip Torn ... Thomas J. Finley, Jr.
Mildred Dunnock ... Aunt Nonnie
Madeleine Sherwood ... Miss Lucy
Philip Abbott ... Dr. George Scudder
Corey Allen ... Scotty
Barry Cahill Barry Cahill ... Bud
Dub Taylor ... Dan Hatcher
James Douglas James Douglas ... Leroy
Barry Atwater ... Ben Jackson
Charles Arnt ... Mayor Henricks
Dorothy Konrad Dorothy Konrad ... Mrs. Maribelle Norris
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Storyline

Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. Arriving with him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He used love like most men use money. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1962 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Bird of Youth See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The unusual four-door convertible is a Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton. There were three made, and according to a Wikipedia entry, the color scheme matches at what the time was the Los Angeles car. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie as Chance is driving, he sees a sign saying "You Are Now Leaving Florida." The multi-lane highway runs very close to the beach with no buildings in between the road and beach and dozens of oil pumps adjacent to the highway. This was clearly filmed in southern California. See more »

Quotes

Chance Wayne: George, George. You're the only grown man I know that still says "gee" and "golly" and "gosh."
Dr. George Scudder: Well, I'm not as sophisticated as you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stump the Stars: Ed Begley vs. Jeanne Crain (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(1830) (uncredited)
Words by Augustus Montague Toplady (1776)
Music by Thomas Hastings
Sung by Dorothy Konrad at the festivities
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The film has a splendid array of impressive performances…
20 January 2009 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Chance Wayne (Newman) has only one talent—sexual prowess—and he's been bumming around for several years, satisfying rich women in the hope that he can find fame in Hollywood…

He picks up a faded screen star, Alexandra Del Lago (magnificently played by Geraldine Page), who takes constant refuge in vodka, hashish, oxygen masks and young studs… She promises to get him a movie contract, and they drive to his Southern hometown, where he plans to find his sweetheart, Heavenly Finley (Shirley Knight), and take her along to Hollywood… He doesn't know that on his last visit he left her pregnant, that she had an abortion, and that her father, the corrupt and vigorous politician Boss Finley (Ed Begley), is out to get him…

Through a strong, powerful performance, Newman managed to be a celebrity—dropping names, giving large tips, arrogantly stating: "Just because a man's successful doesn't mean he has to forget his hometown."

He's also extremely sneaky and gently tolerant, as he charms Alexandra while recording what she's saying for blackmail purposes… But he's finally pathetic: a desperately insecure man, addicted to amphetamines, attending to Alexandra and performing as a lover at her whim… His mask of swaggering bravura really disappears when he tries to see Heavenly… He becomes confused and desperate—walking with regular steps, rubbing his hands together, pleading urgently over the phone…


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